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ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Wednesday withdrew customs duty on import of cotton yarns till June 30, 2021 in order to ensure smooth supply of cotton and cotton yarns to the value-added industry.

The ECC meeting presided over by Minister for Finance and Revenue Hammad Azhar was presented a summary by the Ministry of Commerce for withdrawal of customs duty on import of cotton yarns under PCT 5205, 5206 and 5207 till 30th June, 2021.

The Committee approved the withdrawal of customs duty to ensure smooth supply of cotton and cotton yarns to the value-added industry, while bridging the gap between domestic production and overall demand for the inputs.

The ECC also took up the Power Division's summary regarding waiver of minimum 66 percent take-or-pay commitment in the Power Purchase Agreement(s) (PPA) and Gas Supply Agreement(s) (GSA) of three RLNG-based Public Sector Power Plants namely, Quaid-e-Azam Thermal Power Plant, Balloki Power Plant and Haveli Bahadur Shah Power Plant.

These amendments envisage submission of a Monthly Production Plan (MPP) as a binding on the power purchaser and the power seller, wherein, the power purchaser would be entitled to submit demand requirement as needed, at least seventy five days before the start of each such month, which will be finalised by the system operator and operating committee under the PPA.

The meeting was informed that the concept of a monthly delivery plan (MDP) for deliveries of gas under the GSA has been paired with the monthly schedule as provided under the PPA.

The MPP will come into effect from 2022.

After seeking input from relevant stakeholders, the committee approved the summary and acknowledged the concept of monthly production plan (MPP) as a cost-effective solution, enabling the power and gas purchasers to make requisite purchases in line with actual requirements instead of following a fixed arrangement.

The meeting also considered and approved, in principle, another proposal of the Power Division seeking amendment to the facilitation agreement and amendment to the government guarantee agreement with KAPCO subject to vetting by the Law Division.

The proposal also included that the project may be withdrawn from the Privatisation Commission and entrusted to Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB).

After due deliberation, the Committee approved the summary, in principle, subject to formal vetting by the Law Division.

The ECC also approved a Technical Supplementary Grant for Finance Division amounting to Rs11.7 billion as the share of the federal government for the establishment of four mother and child hospitals in the Punjab.

The ECC meeting was attended by Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar, Minister for Privatisation Muhammad Mian Soomro, Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi, Minister for Energy Omar Ayub Khan, Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms and Austerity Dr Ishrat Hussain, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Revenue Dr Waqar Masood, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Power and Petroleum Tabish Gauhar, federal secretaries, senior representatives of the provincial governments, the chairman BOI and other senior officers participated in the meeting.

The governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Dr. Reza Baqir joined the meeting through a video link.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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